J. R. MILWARD
Name: Lara Croft.
Known aliases: Lady Croft.
Height/weight: 175 cm / 59 kg (5’ 9” / 9st 4lb)
Date and place of birth: Wimbledon, UK; 14/02/1968.
Occupation: Aristocrat; archaeologist-adventurer.
Education: Private Tutoring (3–11); Wimbledon High School for Girls (11–16); Gordonstoun Boarding School (16–18); Swiss Finishing School (18–21); correspondence BA in anthropology and diploma in history.
Strengths: High intelligence; determination; insatiable curiosity; courageous; excellent physical strength/athleticism; highly self-reliant; extensive knowledge of ancient world cultures; practical expertise in firearms, vehicle maintenance, first aid; holds pilot’s licence for both aeroplanes and helicopters; fluent in French, Arabic, Latin, Russian, German, Hebrew, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese; passable Turkish, Italian, Sanskrit, Greek.
Weaknesses: Stubborn; hyperindependent; impulsive; aloof; uncomfortable in social situations; trust issues.
Background: The events leading up to and immediately following the murder of her one-time mentor, Professor Werner Von Croy, have left a lasting impression on Lara. Her desperate struggle to re-imprison the Egyptian god Seth, and her subsequent spiritual healing amongst the Tuareg, have conspired to make her more introspective and subtle than in previous years. Her healing, however, is far from complete. Werner’s murder drew Lara out of seclusion and made her an active participant in the Shadow War, reuniting her with her adventurous side once again. Despite pressures from both sides of the war, she longs to return to the life she once enjoyed – free, independent, and able to just “play for sport”.
Additional notes: Lara is also a published author of archaeological treatises and fictionalised essays of her exploits (at least, that’s what she tells her publishers…).
Name: Kurtis Trent.
Known aliases: Kurt Heissturm (birth name); Vance Renner (in the French Foreign Legion); Demon Hunter / Chaseur des Demons; Bran Cornel (childhood alias); Chicawa (Navajo tribal name); Guilhelm Branwood; Jack ‘Slipknot’ Twain (mercenary alias).
Height/weight: 177 cm / 85 kg (5’ 10” / 207 lb)
Date and place of birth: 26/06/1972; Utah Salt Flats, USA.
Occupation: Lux Veritatis knight; freelance mercenary.
Education: Raised and trained by the Lux Veritatis (0–19); French Foreign Legion (19–24).
Strengths: High intelligence; determination; patience; courageous; high degree of physical fitness; keen observer/listener; resourceful; holds helicopter pilot’s licence; extensive knowledge of and practical experience in firearms, vehicle maintenance, first aid, martial arts, demolitions, and covert operations; self-sufficient; fluent in French, Spanish, German, Latin, and Greek; Lux Vertiatis-trained aetheric skills including telekinesis, telepathy, farseeing.
Weaknesses: Over-zealous; prejudiced/bigoted over anything non-human; stubborn; trust issues.
Background: Born and raised among the Lux Veritatis, honed by the French Foreign Legion, and hardened by freelancing in the dark corners of the mercenary world, Kurtis is used to living on the run and under constant threat of attack from hostile forces. He has also learned, through painful experience, that he cannot outrun his foes: that he must instead confront them head-on if he is to have any hope of survival. He has lost almost everything to the Monstrum – and, by extension, the Nephilim – but his encounter with Lara has shown him that victory is not, perhaps, just an impossible dream. He is determined to make a last stand against the Nephilim threat and restore the Lux Veritatis order… or die in the attempt.
Additional notes: Kurtis inherited the Chirugai Irenweapn and two of the three Periapt Shards from his father, Konstantin Heissturm, shortly after the latter’s murder by the Monstrum. Now that the Black Alchemist is dead, all three Periapt Shards are now his to use as he sees fit.
Name: Morgau Nanuaat Madura Vasiley.
Known aliases: Annessa Chimoya; Lilith; Maude Holtzmün.
Height/weight: 167 cm (5’ 6”)
Date and place of birth: 30/04/1983; Huskvarma, Sweden.
Occupation: Freelance agent.
Education: Privately educated by her father, the renegade Lux Veritatis Matthias Vasiley.
Strengths: Exceptionally intelligent; extreme self-reliance; curious; intuitive; tenacious; adaptable; keen observational skills; extensive experience with weaponry, martial arts, operating/repairing a variety of vehicles; supremely skilled in cryptography and higher mathematics; expert in covert surveillance and infiltration; strong aetheric abilities, though imperfectly trained.
Weaknesses: Arrogance; disdain for others (especially those she sees as weak); difficulty relating to others/understanding nuances of social interactions; moody and quick to anger; perfectionist; covetous of knowledge; cold; desperate to prove herself.
Background: Morgau has been a fugitive all her life. Although born with tremendous aetheric potential, her training was haphazard and she has always known, deep down, that she is capable of so much more than her father or any teacher thus far has been able to unlock. She embraced the life of an outsider, even as she grew into a consummate infiltrator of various organisations, including both the Lux Veritatis and Cabal. Tortured, vivisected, and made dependant on the Vitalis Eterna serum by Eckhardt, Morgau has struggled to gain independence and forge her own destiny, only to find herself a pawn bound to the schemes of others. She yearns for the day she can fully heal and be truly free to develop her skills for herself, not just exist as a useful tool for others.
Additional notes: Morgau has had limited success attuning to the Irenweapns. Perhaps one day she will find a weapon that complements her aetheric vibrations, and improve upon her already deadly repertoire of skills.
Name: Joachim Karel.
Known aliases: Karael (birth name); Régis Limoux.
Height/weight: Human disguise 180 cm (5’ 11”); true Nephilim form 214 cm (7' 11")
Date and place of birth: The Fertile Crescent, ~15,000 BC.
Occupation: Former financial and legal overseer of the Cabal, now its de facto leader.
Education: Karel was raised in princely fashion and, over his 17,000-year lifespan, has educated himself on almost every subject there is to study.
Strengths: Nigh-immortality; great physical strength; consummate aetheric skills; extreme intelligence; fluency in almost every language; acute observer/listener; actor; master strategist; patient; manipulative; exhaustive knowledge in a wide variety of fields; shapeshifter able to take a variety of humanoid forms; adapt magic user.
Weaknesses: Arrogance; blind faith in his own abilities and destiny; focuses more on long-term strategies rather than short-term details.
Background: Karel’s early life is shrouded in mystery. There are precious few second-hand accounts about his upbringing or family, and no personal testimonies whatsoever (that have survived to the present day, at least). What is known, however, is that he has long believed himself to be a prophetic figure whose ultimate destiny is to transform into the Golden Lion: a god-like saviour who will bring about the restoration of the Nephilim’s lost glory and dominion over the Earth. Outwardly, Karel aspires to literal godhood in order to reign supreme as a benevolent, all-wise eternal ruler. However, his motives are rooted in his belief that humans are inherently inferior “things” that will either serve him or be destroyed. In modern times, he has used both the Cabal and Eckhardt to further his schemes. Now that the Black Alchemist is dead, Karel has turned his attention to others who can be manipulated into helping him achieve his apotheosis as the Golden Lion…
Additional notes: Many of Karel’s magical powers (including shapeshifting) come from glyphs cut into his flesh with the Periapt Shards. He has scarred himself so many times that his body has become hyper-saturated with magic, a side-effect of which has been to turn his golden Nephilim eyes entirely black.
Name: Luther Rouzic.
Known aliases: The Illusionist.
Date and place of birth: 23/02/1837; Brno, Czech Republic.
Occupation: Librarian Honorarium at Prague city archives; Keeper of the Strahov Archives.
Education: Initially trained as an archaeologist, later retired from field work and gained archivist and librarian skills in Vienna, Paris, and Prague; self-taught in various occult arts (including golemancy, necromancy, and divination).
Strengths: Meticulous; high intelligence; photographic memory; patience; logic; world authority on dead languages, myths, texts, cryptography, and geography; consummate researcher; extensive experience in preservation, interrogation, and torture techniques; strong talent for sorcery, especially golemancy; extreme tolerance for gore.
Weaknesses: Covetous; hedonistic; pedantic.
Background: Rouzic’s past is murky and uncertain. He showed an interest in the grotesque and macabre from an early age, and enjoyed collecting and cataloguing everything from rare books to dead animals. A natural loner and sociopath, Rouzic initially studied archaeology, but found himself drawn more to ancient libraries and forgotten archives than to field work. He is obsessed with taking things apart, cataloguing their secrets, and filling them away forever – no matter if they’re inanimate objects or living beings. He has a particular fetish for creating waxwork tableaux from human remains; one of the reasons he accepted membership into the Cabal was the promise of abundant raw materials for his “hobby”. Rouzic’s greatest craving is for knowledge – not to use, but to file away and preserve for all eternity under his watchful eye – followed closely by his desire to inflict the most heinous (and creative) tortures upon unwilling victims…
Additional notes: Rouzic’s skill with golemancy is so great that he can maintain the Strahov Archives without any additional living staff whatsoever (not that many people are queuing up to take the job…).
Name: Marten Gunderson
Known aliases: Unknown.
Date and place of birth: 09/09/1879; Srebrenica, Bosnia.
Occupation: Head of the Agency; former bodyguard to Pieter van Eckhardt; enforcer for the Cabal.
Education: No formal academic education; served in a variety of military units across many countries from the age of eight upwards.
Strengths: Ruthless; objective; extreme physical strength and stature; excellent logistician and strategist; over a century of military experience; comfortable with command.
Weaknesses: Stubborn; quick to anger; violently unpredictable; sadistic tendencies often overrule good judgement; blind loyalty to those he perceives as more powerful than him.
Background: Gunderson was born in a small town in Bosnia just as the Austro-Hungarian Empire was taking over rule from the Ottomans. An orphan who stubbornly fended for himself, Marten wandered widely, taking any work that was available. He quickly earned a reputation for his physical and fighting skills and took up the life of a soldier, serving in countless militias, raiding parties, and formal armies until the Greco–Turkish War (The 30 Days’ War) in 1897, when he came to the attention of the Cabal. He quickly established himself as the head of a military recruitment firm based in Prague, known simply as the Agency, which helped support the Cabal’s various operations across the world. In 1945, Gunderson was instrumental in retrieving Pieter Van Eckhardt for the Cabal after his release from the Pit, and remained Eckhardt’s enforcer and bodyguard right up until the Black Alchemist’s death in 2002. Gunderson’s true loyalty, however, was and always has been to the Golden Lion. He knows Karel, as the Golden-Lion-Who-Is-To-Be, can promise him more opportunities to indulge his violent temperament and sadistic tastes than a mere human ever could with money or political connections.
Additional notes: Gunderson handles all of the Cabal’s security and field operations. In effect, he commands one of the world’s largest and best-equipped private armies, all in the service of the Nephilim.
Father Patrick Bram Dunstan
Name: Father Patrick Bram Dunstan.
Known aliases: N/A.
Date and place of birth: 01/04/1954; Dublin, Ireland.
Occupation: Catholic priest; agent of the Lux Veritatis.
Education: Born into a minor branch of the Lux Veritatis, and thus received intensive training in self-defence, magical theory, and other disciplines. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, he attended St Patrick's College, Maynooth, after which he travelled Central and South America as a Lux Veritatis intelligence agent under the guise of missionary work.
Strengths: Intelligent and insightful; level-headed; practical; gentle and considerate; extensive knowledge of comparative religion and folklore, magical theory, demonology, the occult, herb lore, weapons, and field medicine; courageous; acute observer and listener; fluent in Latin, Greek, Spanish, and Gaelic; excellent planner and logistician.
Weaknesses: Prefers to follow orders rather than give them; relies on secrecy to protect his Lux Veritatis affiliation.
Background: Although he is outwardly a committed member of the Catholic Church, Father Patrick’s first and last loyalty is to the Lux Veritatis. He has travelled extensively, protecting those around him from uncanny threats few other members of the clergy are equipped to handle, all while gathering valuable intelligence for the Lux Veritatis. In 1981 he transferred to the sleepy parish of Connussie, under the guise of a humble parish priest, and maintains a watchful eye over Black Isle (and its supernatural inhabitants) to this day. Despite seeing his friends and comrades fall victim to the Monstrum’s pogrom, he refuses to let darkness or danger cloud his compassion for others. Father Patrick sees himself as a defender and supporter of those who fight on the front lines, and holds onto the hope that the Lux Veritatis might still emerge victorious despite overwhelming odds.
Additional notes: Although he is a gentle soul, Father Patrick is well trained in self-defence techniques – both mundane and magical – and has few qualms about employing them when the need arises. Never mistake his forbearance for weakness!
The Tuatha Dé Danann
Known aliases: Dian Cécht.
Height: 259 cm / 8’ 10”
Date and place of birth: Unknown.
Occupation: Healer and councillor in Mulalas.
Strengths: Great physical stature and strength; immortality; vast intelligence; aetheric abilities an order of magnitude above any human’s; compassion; patience; vast medical and healing knowledge; insightful.
Background: Little is known about Daesuan, a Watcher and healer among the Armartu’erin, or ‘People of the West Wind’, as they call themselves. It is known that he had ‘allies’ in the Nephilim’s homeland (including the mysterious Council of Seven), and was among those Watchers who believed that humanity should be nurtured and protected, rather than enslaved and exploited. He is compassionate towards humans, and indeed has had relationships with several human women over the centuries, fathering at least two Nephilim children, Adaren and Magan. Although he is not part of the Council of Seven, he has followed their cryptic instructions for many thousands of years, watching and waiting for a certain human woman to appear among his people…
Notes: As a Watcher, Daesuan was around long before many of the most ancient human civilisations. Thus his knowledge, and the depths of his thinking, is far beyond any human understanding.
* * *
Known aliases: N/A.
Height: 226 cm / 7’ 5”
Date and place of birth: Unknown.
Occupation: Portal guardian (?).
Strengths: Great physical stature and strength; nigh-immortality; intelligent; aetheric abilities an order of magnitude above any human’s; great physical and martial skills; determined; stubborn; loyal; objective.
Background: Adaren is a Nephilim daughter of Daesuan, a Watcher, and an unnamed human woman. Her exact role in the Armartu’erin’s society is unclear, although her duties evidently include guarding the portal leading in and out of their world. She takes her responsibility to protect her people from outside threats very seriously, and views her father’s compassion towards humanity with some scepticism. Her greatest fear is that humans might discover their hidden world and attempt to interfere with it.
Notes: Although Adaren makes no effort to hide her distrust and disdain towards humans, she is also capable of putting her personal feelings aside in the name of duty.
* * *
Known aliases: N/A.
Height: 215 cm / 7’ 1”
Date and place of birth: Unknown; Mulalas.
Strengths: Improved physical stature and strength compared to a human; nigh-immortality; intelligent; aetheric abilities an order of magnitude above any human’s; curious; energetic; compassionate; kind; courageous.
Weaknesses: Young and inexperienced (for a Nephilim).
Background: Magan is a Nephilim son of Daesuan, a Watcher, and an unnamed human woman. It’s unclear what role he plays in Armartu’erin’s society. He is extremely curious about humans and life outside the Armartu’erin’s isolated world, and longs to explore beyond its boundaries.
Notes: At first glance, Magan appears gawky and even a little shy. However, he is also much braver and more determined than many of his elders.
* * *
Known aliases: Nuada Airgetlám (Nuada Silverhand).
Height: 304 cm / 10’ 0”
Date and place of birth: Unknown.
Occupation: King (nagaal) among the Armartu’erin.
Strengths: Great physical stature and strength; immortality; intelligent; aetheric abilities an order of magnitude above any human’s; determined; stubborn; insightful; politically astute.
Weaknesses: Underestimates humans.
Background: Almost nothing is known about the Watcher, Nuartu. As a king (or nagal) among his people, he is held in high regard and is used to getting his own way. His contempt for humans is clear, however, and he will go to any lengths to preserve his people’s security against possible invasions or interference – no matter the cost.
Notes: Even other Watchers and Nephilim are not safe from Nuartu’s wrath!